Thanks Christophe. I, for one, have had difficulty figuring out what is
going on with Wikimania in regards to varying decisions in different parts
of WMF and the community, so I look forward to the clarifications.
Personally I am currently neutral on the decision of whether to have annual
Wikimanias, or alternate Wikimanias with years in which there is emphasis
on national or regional conferences. My hunch is that some research about
costs and benefits is needed so that we have reliable data about a variety
of scenarios before making a decision.
Thanks again for working on this.
To the board chairs: I would be interested in seeing that letter. In the
spirit of transparency, would you please publish it on Meta? As you know I
am an advocate for much more transparency from WMF, and I would like for
the affiliates to also to be transparent about governance matters such as
On Jul 8, 2016 19:18, "Christophe Henner" <chenner(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
The same question was raised to the board a few days ago by chairs of
Wikimedia organizations asking Foundation's board to make sure there's a
comprehensive decision on this very topic.
The chairs letter wasn't public, I let them share it on meta or here if
they want to :)
First step, in my opinion, is to set expectations and define the scope (in
the role of the event but also in the ressources (both human and financial)
we commit to the event.
Katherine is working with the staff to provide groundings.
Here is the answer I provided them with.
First of all, thank you with the email, the feedback is clearly useful and
raises interesting point.
Now, the Wikimania discussion definitly is on the table. Living by what we
said during Wikimania, we, as WMF, will make sure we end up with a clear
answer to your questions but also to the different points you raise.
Wikimania is an important time in our movement, but as you said it also
comes with costs and challenges that we have to adress. Katherine is going
to meet in the coming days with the staff in charge of that topic to start
that discussion within WMF and provide groundings for a comprehensive
We will try to be as diligent as possible on that topic, but I would ask
you to keep in mind that as we're in a transition phase and that might take
a little more time than you could expect.
Again thank you for your email, I love the fact that he raises issues but
also includes the challenges we have to take care of :)
We'll get back to you as soon as possible to continue that discussion.
Have all a really great day / night :)
While I concur with Coren’s conclusion, I’ll try to neutrally report on
the events at Wikimania which led to this result. :)
Full disclosure: I’m a fan of Wikimania being yearly, and was asked to
serve on the Wikimania Committee after Esino Lario. I was also the main
moderator of the Wikimania 2016 session on the “Future of Wikimania.” These
views are my own, and not anything official from the committee.
Background: Many folks (I’d say a majority) who I talked to in Esino Lario
early in the conference thought that the decision to do Wikimania every
other year was a done deal, as a result of the IdeaLab consultation. I told
them that might not necessarily be so. The vote was close, not particularly
widely known, and we could still be heard. Chris Schilling from the WMF,
who oversaw the Idealab consultation, sought me out specifically at the
start of the conference and to my delight, said that the consultation was
“just another data point,” and that it was by no means the final word on
things. Obviously, this was good news to people who were interested in
keeping a yearly Wikimania.
I was scheduled to moderate the “Future of Wikimania” discussion session
 at the very end of the conference, and encouraged people to let their
views be heard. It was under these conditions that we entered into the
final discussion room and I asked Chris Schilling to give an opening
statement to the room. Most people were happy to hear him say that it was
“just another data point.” During the discussion, there was overwhelming
support to keep Wikimania going every year, which is not a surprise
considering this was *at* Wikimania. I encourage folks to peruse the
Etherpad notes, which are quite extensive and expertly done by several
Some views I’d highlight:
- Having yearly Wikimania is important to keep the momentum of the
movement going, according to many
- A case for cancelling yearly Wikimania was to encourage/fund regional
meetups. However, there is no guarantee that those regional meetups would
actually take place, or that WMF would necessarily take the money saved
from Wikimania to fund them. Some folks from Asia specifically said that
there is weaker linguistic, cultural and geographic synergy for an “Asian”
conference like there is in Europe and Africa, which is why it has been
hard to do one.
- One person noted that one trip to Wikimania served the same role as
several international trips to get the same benefit from meeting other
Wikimedians/developers, so there are indeed cost efficiencies in having a
Associate professor of journalism, American University
BOOK: The Wikipedia Revolution: http://www.wikipediarevolution.com
PROJECT: Wiki Makes Video
On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Marc-Andre <marc(a)uberbox.org> wrote:
On 2016-07-08 10:01 AM, Chris Keating wrote:
Interestingly, I couldn't see any sign of the
Committee's decision being
informed by the WMF's consultation on the future of Wikimania, or anyone
from the WMF's community engagement department being present.
Wikimania is, and always was, a community led and organized event. The
WMF, as its traditional biggest sponsor, has a great deal of influence
in the matter - but ultimately no decision power beyond "fund and resource
The committee's decision has indeed taken into account the consultation
you refer to - as well as the roundtable discussion on the "Future of
Wikimania" that took place earlier. Our evaluation, which is reflected
in that resolution, is that the consultation was clearly flawed and that
its conclusion does not reflect consensus - neither of the community
members who organize nor of those who attend Wikimania.
-- Coren / Marc
 Although "underwrite" might be a better term - the WMF has pretty
much shouldered the vast majority of the costs and given the most
logistical support year in and year out.
 Where the consensus was to overwhelmingly reject that consultation's
conclusion in favor or continuing with Wikimania as a yearly even given its
irreplaceable role in our movement.
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